Hello everyone, Myself Dr. Shikha Sardana, Obs gynae consultant at Chaitanya Hospital, Chandigarh. Today we are here to talk about solar eclipse and pregnancy.
A solar eclipse means many myths and precautions for an expecting mother. Let’s try to debunk the myths and talk the science. We have watched our grandmothers, mothers, and aunts following a certain set of dos and don’ts during eclipses. And if you are expecting then certainly the list of rules will get longer. You want to follow them or not that is a personal choice. However, it is good to understand these solar eclipse practices and their origin first, before dismissing them as something regressive.
According to traditional Indian beliefs, the planets sun and moon are considered very powerful and hence it is said to take necessary precautions when their planetary positions get changed like during eclipse. See everything is interconnected when a celestial phenomenon happens, it impacts the body also. For example, the way you feel early in the morning is different from how you feel in the afternoon or evening. So in some cultures and astrological fields, eclipses are considered a bad omen and it is believed that they can impact your health.
Pregnant mothers are advised to take strong precautions and care to protect the baby and their health. Many are not even allowed to step out of the house during an eclipse like event. Scientifically there is no proof to back the theory that eclipses are harmful either to the baby or the mother. But yes still the fear is very deep-rooted in many Indian families.
Actually staying indoor is not a problem but at the same time, one should also understand that if a pregnant woman can not stay indoor for a particular reason during the eclipse, it doesn’t mean that something bad will happen with the baby. The child will still be born healthy and hearty and the mother-to-be will also be fine.
However, this being said there are some general precautionary measures moms-to-be can still take for the safety of their own health as well as for the peace of mind of their concerned family members. These are like staying indoor, getting plenty of rest, do not fast, this can compromise on your health and nutrition, never look at the eclipse with naked eyes in fact no one should gaze at the eclipse with naked eyes as sun’s UV rays might burn the retina and harm your eyesight or vision. This practice has scientific backing and validation.
Then some people say pregnant women should not use a knife before, during, or after a grahan. If done the child will be born with a cleft organ. Let’s not add fear and worry to an expectant mother, the truth is it is best to avoid sharp objects in case of accident or reactions. Let’s remember that there was no electricity in ancient times, our ancestors probably experience darkness during certain eclipses and hence wanted to protect pregnant women. It’s always good to stay away from sharp objects otherwise too.
Then there is one more myth regarding discarding any food that is cooked before the solar eclipse. This might be because fall in temperature because of the fall in temperature during the eclipse that can promote bacterial growth in food which can lead to food born infection and gastric upset. But nowadays we have refrigerators and fridges to keep food safe and avoid any such infection risk. So I hope now you understand scientifically and culturally validated and balanced do’s and don’ts to follow during the eclipse event.
With the wishes for a happy, healthy, and safe pregnancy, we thank you all for joining us.